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What Makes the Best Bear Propellant?

If you’re going to be spending any time in the Alaskan backwoods, it’s important to come well-armed with bear spray. This spray is used to deter a bear while it’s charging. You’ll find bears all over the Alaskan woods, and while they’re normally docile if left alone, it can be surprisingly easy to startle one, at which point they can become protective and aggressive. It is therefore important to understand the kind of bear propellant you should get and how to use it.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about the best bear spray propellants in Alaska.

Selecting your bear spray

The ideal bear spray will feature a strong and sturdy nozzle, an atomized propellant and a high-quality can. If any one of these elements is missing, the quality of the spray will be significantly reduced.

Avoid purchasing any product that simply claims to be a hot pepper spray, or a product that features more capsaicin. This will likely end up being a thicker product that makes it more difficult to create a protective cloud when you spray, which means you’ll have worse results.

The best way to get a reliable, quality product is to purchase a bear spray that is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA-regulated bear sprays undergo significant testing procedures to ensure the effectiveness of the spray. The spray should also have one to two percent capsaicin and capsaicinoids. Most brick and mortar outdoor products stores will only sell EPA-registered bear sprays, so you shouldn’t have a problem if you’re making your purchase in person, but if you’re buying online, it’s very important you look for something designating the product as EPA-registered.

Another element to look for in your bear spray is a five-second spray duration. There are a lot of variables to consider when a bear charges, such as the distance of the bear, the presence of any wind and the velocity with which the bear travels. A five-second spray will allow you to quickly and effectively spray out the contents of the can to provide the best results regardless of these variables. A high-quality bear spray should be able to propel 25 to 30 feet away from the can, and you should back away (not run) while spraying.

You should also take temperature into consideration. If the mercury dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, your bear spray will likely not be able to spray as far, and in some cases might not even work at all. You should always store bear spray in an area that is warm and protected. If you’re out camping you can wrap it in blankets or clothes, and if you’re out hiking in the woods you should carry it under your jacket to prevent it from getting cold.

For more information about what you should look for when selecting a bear spray for your visit to the Alaskan back country, contact Phantom Tri-River Charters today and we will be happy to make our suggestions for the best bear spray you’ll find on the market in Alaska.